Francesca Curran, the actress who plays Helen, had to actually shave her head for the role. In real life, she is completely opposite from her on-screen counterpart, being very feminine. She has to transform into Helen each day of the shooting, with cast members shaving her head, applying tattoos and making her up to look older.
“I’d come in, in the morning, and I was always the first person in and the last person out of the make-up chair. I would see the whole cast come and go,” she told Insider.
Every day of shooting, the 24-year-old Curran had a team of 3 shave her head and apply tattoos and makeup to make her appear older. At first, the process took a total of three-and-a-half hours but once the team got the hang of it was whittled down to about an hour.
“I have usually three people working on my tattoos at one given time. So, they get it done, in I’d say, about an hour.”
“I tried to count [how many star tattoos the character has] one day. We kept losing count. I have so many individual stars on my face. So, it’s like, oh my gosh, maybe 20 to 30 stars on my face, and then I’ve got two to three, maybe two to three, three to four on each arm. Then I’ve got one on my neck, I’ve got three on my head.”
She added of her transformation: “Even fans of the show coming up to me in real life will say, ‘Are you sure it’s you?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m positive.’
“It’s kind of fun because I’ll sometimes be out to lunch with the other girls on the show, and they’ll be getting recognized, and then they’ll [fans] say to me, ‘Who are you?'”
“And you know, then it becomes a long, long wave of ‘No you’re not.’ And, I’m like, ‘OK.'”